‘Who owes who?’ Gazprom appeals against European asset seizures to compensate Ukraine's Naftogaz

‘Who owes who?’ Gazprom appeals against European asset seizures to compensate Ukraine's Naftogaz
Russian energy giant Gazprom has filed a petition in a Switzerland court seeking access to documents which allowed Swiss bailiffs to seize the company’s assets to compensate Ukraine’s energy firm Naftogaz.

Gazprom’s assets were seized in compliance with the February decision of the Stockholm arbitration court. The ruling required the Russian corporation to pay the Ukrainian side compensation of $2.6 billion for a shortfall in the delivery of gas to Ukraine.

Gazprom appealed the verdict, arguing that Ukraine's Naftogaz stopped buying the contracted amount of gas in 2015, replacing it with reverse supplies from Europe, in breach of the existing contract.

The Russian company says it has received no official documents confirming implementation of the Stockholm court’s ruling so far, but confirms that the seizure proceedings are taking place.

“The company [Gazprom] has filed a petition to the Swiss court to get a full access to all the materials in the proceedings to potentially appeal against the actions by the court bailiffs,” according to the statement, seen by Russian business daily RBC.

Gazprom also pledged to file a similar appeal with the Dutch court, which reportedly began seizing company assets in the Netherlands.

The Russian corporation is in no haste to pay the awarded compensation to Naftogaz, aiming to wait for results of the appeal, according to Gazprom’s Deputy Head of the Legal Department Sergey Kuznets.

“Naftogaz is trying to arrest some assets in an effort to make Gazprom pay as soon as possible. We don’t think we should be quick with that. We need to understand who owes who,” the official said, as quoted by RIA Novosti. “We think we have a chance for a reverse of the arbitration ruling.”

“If the compensation is paid now, we cannot be sure that Naftogaz will give the compensation back, when the court decision is changed or reversed, as we hope,” Kuznets said, stressing that the ruling by Stockholm arbitration doesn’t fix a time limit.

Naftogaz applied for the seizure of shares in Gazprom's subsidiaries in May. The company said that the Dutch court upheld the motion, but six out of the seven Gazprom subsidiaries “refused to cooperate with the legal executive.”

Last week, Swiss bailiffs launched seizure proceedings for shares of Gazprom's subsidiaries Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG in Switzerland. However, the corporation said that had no impact on the work of the firms.

Earlier this week, Naftogaz claimed that assets of the Russian corporation in the Netherlands had been seized as well. The headquarters of Gazprom International, which oversees the company’s projects around the world, is located in Amsterdam. Gazprom Energy, another of the corporation’s subsidiaries, is also based in Holland.

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